Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Frugal Files: The Extreme Coupon Beginner

Hey frugalicious ones!!

I'm so anxious to share my weekend adventures to you!! If you're connected with me on Facebook, then you know about the buzz!! If not, join me for daily tips, articles, blogs, and freebies!! Frugalicious Diva

My newest pleasure: COUPONING!! It's my goal to master it this year. My parents used coupons when I was a child (and still do), but somehow the practice was lost upon me. In the last five years, I've used them occasionally, no real savings. The game has changed folks!! It's VERY serious now, especially since the reality show Extreme Couponing has aired.

I'll admit, I was skeptical and I didn't want to take time to do it. I've watched the show and while I marvel at the tremendous savings, I couldn't help but think those folks needed to go down the hall and sign up for Hoarders. Really, who needs three lifetime supplies of Q-tips? Why would you add on to your home to house an enormous stockpile when you live alone? I just didn't understand. There were sometimes those people who donated their items, which is good, but I still wasn't convinced.

Then, for some reason, I got the unction to explore this; after all, I am the Frugalicious Diva. How could I pass up the opportunity to save money? So, it became my mission for 2012 to delve into the life of an Extreme Couponer. I searched for coupon classes and found three; two for a cost and donation and a free one. It was a bonus the first class I found was being taught by Extreme Couponing All Star Joni Meyer-Crothers. She has been featured on the popular show four times and has a fifth show coming up!!

I attended her class this weekend and my life is forever changed. Her simple advice to anyone getting started was to 1) get a coupon binder, 2) start gathering coupons and 3) find a coupon blog to follow. Her blog is Free Tastes Good for your reference. The beauty of following is the blogger does all of the work. They find the sales, the deals and most of all; the free stuff!! I can tell you first hand, my coupon binder overwhelms me, but thanks to a new friend I also found in my search, it's organized and ready to use. Check out I LUV 2 COUPON for great ways to save!!

Coupons are not just in the Sunday paper either. You can print them online, get them via email and if you're really serious, you can purchase them online. Online clipping services and e-bay are good good ways to get coupons you might be missing for a small processing fee; usually shipping costs. I'm not there yet, so for now, I'll just ask friends and family for theirs. Another goal is build a pantry stockpile for my church. They feed people monthly, but the supply is low; a perfect way to give back. That's why I adore Joni. Her coupon ministry, Saving and Sharing for Christ's motto is "Pass the Blessing On"!! I agree, how can you not?

She taught us the world of store policies, which was an eyeopener. If you have a Kroger or a Giant Eagle in your area, understand they double coupons, sometimes up to 0.99. This means if you have a 0.75 off coupon, you get $1.50 off. That's frugalicious!! Walmart is a couponer's dream!! Not only can you use an unlimited amount of coupons, they also PAY any overage. So if your coupon amount exceeds the cost of the item, they will give you back the difference and NOT on a gift card, in CASH!!

Oh my, we've run out of time, but there's plenty to share. Next week we'll chat about last minute Valentine's Day plans, but we'll continue the following week!! Before you go, I wanted to share what I got FREE this weekend, with coupons. Check out My Frugalicious Weekend!! Kroger paid me 0.10 to walk out with 10 cans of diced tomatoes: great for my stockpile to make chili, spaghetti, soup and salsa. From Family Dollar, I was given three CoverGirl items: tweezers, travel tweezers and wide nail brush. Can we say frugalicious beauty? Lastly, Walmart gifted me with a pack of assorted BIC pens, plus my overage which was applied to the discounted Colgate toothpaste I purchased.

See, this is fun and more importantly FREE or very cheap. If you want to save money and keep your budget in check, be sure to check back with me!! Would love to hear your coupon stories on Facebook too!! Until then, enjoy your week!!

Frugalicious Diva

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